It’s the least wonderful time of the year. It’s at this time every year that this paper, and many other on-campus student services, must pick up the pieces after yet another budget cut.
It was at this time last year that ASISU moved to cut all funding to the student newspaper, something that was quickly reversed.
That decision is something I’ve forgiven, but not something I’m able to forget while I impatiently and nervously await this year’s decision.
I don’t believe that any decisions this year will be made in spite, but I know the money to cover the $120,000 deficit ASISU is facing has to come from somewhere and I know I wouldn’t want to be in charge of making those cuts.
I also know that cutting this paper would be a mistake.
I’ve heard through the grapevine, as one does, a certain senator say that ASISU has wanted to cut The Bengal for years, but no one “has the balls” to do it.
I found this both offensive to the paper and to the current presidency.
President Muir certainly “had the balls” to cut back the number of senators by almost half, a move that both surprised and impressed me.
This paper provides students a place to share their voices that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.
It tells the stories of the amazing things students are doing in this little community.
It acts as a fourth estate to keep the university (and the student government) accountable.
This year we’ve worked to bring national policies to an ISU level, showing students how to be involved and how national politics affect their daily lives.
My Life Editor had someone she didn’t know tell her she was their hero because of her hilarious Badvice column.
This paper has been part of ISU for over 100 years.
It provides invaluable real-world experience to every person on staff.
It allows students to do what they love whether it’s cover basketball games, take photos or tell people’s stories.
My staff includes majors in business, journalism, political science and geology to name a few.
They are here because they love what they do, Lord knows it isn’t for the dazzling pay.
I asked my writers to give me an estimate of the amount of time they spend researching, contacting sources, interviewing, transcribing and writing each article. Doing the math equated to a pay of $3.33 an hour.
I’d like to change that, but with aging software and equipment and the very real possibility of cuts every year, it’s not something I’m able to do right now.
I’m confident this paper will not die with me. I won’t let it.
I’ve loved it and devoted myself to it for my entire college career. What happens after I leave? I have no control over that.
I know whoever takes over next year, it will be in good hands.
However, I’m spending the rest of my time as Editor-in-Chief making sure that person has every advantage I can create for them to keep the paper’s quality high, staff passionate about what they’re doing and the doors of the newsroom swinging for years to come.